There have been times when I have reached the end of the day, and without having to count up the calories, I have known how utterly terrible my choices have been.
I mean, sometimes… sometimes… you accidentally eat a doughnut.
And by sometimes, I mean always. And by doughnut, I mean box of doughnuts.
And as I sit there, with my sugar glazed lips, biting into that moist dough, I am looking at the remaining box thinking "stop looking so delicious would ya!"
Trouble is, for a person like me, a lonely doughnut isn’t enough. Not when you have an insatiable appetite for refined carbs and sugar. It only makes sense to wash it down with a bottle of wine, a bag of chips and the last stash of Halloween candy in the freezer. Just kidding, there is never any leftover Halloween candy in my house. And so the cycle begins again.
One doughnut to blame for a day of bad choices – might as well, right.. I mean.. it couldn’t hurt? Which leads into two days. Which leads into three and before you know it, that small moment of weakness became a week of bad choices and in my case, if I’m lucky, only about a 7lbs gain.
Best of all…..I can’t even remember what the doughnuts tasted like.
You make one bad choice and it's full on FAILURE. Failure before you succeeded. Failure to allow yourself to succeed. And you convince yourself that you can eat all the doughnuts and start again tomorrow until you make the next mistake.
Failure is that comfortable place we hang out in when we’re not ready to really work hard and get what we want.
It’s so much easier to admit defeat and blame your old ways and your lazy, miserable doughnut loving self, than to empower the "doughnut in moderation" version of yourself that is just desperate to succeed, but so scared to fail. Again. And again…
That was how my 2014 panned out. Despite some great efforts and successes throughout the year – my heart was elsewhere and although my intentions were good – my ability to make it happen....didn’t work out. There were many doughnut days.
I realise how hard it is to admit you fucked up.
I realise how hard it is to take action again.
I realise how embarrassing can be to admit you tried and failed.
But I also know how awesome it is to succeed. So keep going anyway.
Tonight I found myself looking for an excuse to get an ice cream. I didn't need one or even really want one - but the convenience of being in the city and opportunity to take my dog out for a walk lended itself to the possibility of a peanut buster parfait. I walked out the house with the full intention of buying something.. sundae? maybe a blizzard? By the time I had got to the end of the road I was debating the size - should I get something big or small. I asked myself if I really wanted the ice cream? I said "Yes" DUH!!
But I stopped myself from walking down a block and turned the corner. I asked myself again if the best version of myself wanted that ice cream? I broke the cycle of failure in that moment by saying no.
I'll admit - I wasn't as strong yesterday when I was eating the top of a defrosted cake that my friend had given me - but I never claimed to be perfect....and as the summer draws to an end and we're in "back to school" mentality, the doughnut days of summer are over and we can choose to be successful once again.
From an early age kids are fascinated with mirrors. Put a mirror in front of a baby and watch their joy and curiosity in discovering their own reflection. I've always been fascinated with mirrors and the power they hold over us.
This weekend I realised I have a lot of mirrors in my place. Yep. I think it could be a thing.
I remember one of my boarding school bedrooms that had a mirror as you walked out the door. Every time, without fail, I would do the old point, wink and click.
As an adult, I dream of a wall of mirrors so I can watch myself dance. As a matter of self improvement, you understand. Mirrors are a part of my life. You see it all. The good - the not so good. It's all on show and I like to watch.
Mirrors have given me the opportunity to practice my smile for the camera. They've been witness to tears. They have been there to document my weight loss. They have watched me grab rolls of fat in moments of self loathing.
Find me a woman who hasn’t once complained and scoffed at herself in the mirror over her imperfections.– Throwing criticism around casually - picking herself apart. Letting the mirror have the power over her feelings. Sometimes that has applied to me....
But, for the most part, when I'm looking in the mirror I’m usually imagining the Kool Aid Man bursting through my wall. OHHH YEAH!
Call me big headed if you will, but that's not the case. I choose to feel beautiful. It's as simple as that.
And we keep looking in them because we want to see our beauty, our strength and our flaws.
We look into them because we need to see what's reflected in the world around us.
And sometimes we don't like what we see.
Imagine if you used the energy you spent hating yourself in the mirror, and simply loved yourself.
What could change in those moments – over days, weeks, months, years?
Would it be possible to start feeling beautiful, where you once felt disgusting? Undesirable?
In my mirror I see a woman who has suffered. Loved. Struggled. Succeeded.
I see a woman who knows what she wants and who is prepared to get it.
I see kindness. I see determination. I see bravery and loyalty. The smile on my face and the light in my eyes. Don't get me wrong, I see the physical imperfections too... but I choose not to dwell on them.
No mirror will ever know the full picture anyway... because it's not only about what you see, it's about what you feel. And I wake up every morning and FEEL beautiful.
Not because I am the most exquisite creature on earth (although let me know if you disagree!) but because I choose it that way.
What's your relationship with the mirror?
I hope you can look yourself in the eyes and surrender to the person inside telling you you're not enough in some way. You are always enough. I hope you can look at that person looking back at you and love them with all your heart. And if you don't....
I hope you're lucky enough to meet a person who will be a mirror in your life. Someone who will help you see what you can’t from your own perspective.
I hope that you will find someone who will give you the answers the mirror never does, or at least, wants to explore the questions with you.
And some people come into our lives, with their own brilliant perspectives.
They make us question if we need all our mirrors, but they still hang them up for us anyway.
Mother, creative strategist and health & happiness advocate. These are my personal ramblings..